Notes From a Nomad

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.


As I sit typing my final paper for eighth grade on a rainy Portland night in May, I hear my mother suddenly call, “Andrew, your father and I need to talk to you”. From her tone I know the subject of the conversation. She used that tone at the end of seventh grade, end of fifth grade, three times during first grade. When my father begins, “we don’t think Portland is the best place for us,” my suspicions are confirmed. We are ‘relocating’ again. For the tenth time in my life, I am a nomad, moving not across town, but across the country. Moving far from my house, my friends, my routine, my trips to the science museum with the ‘nerd herd’, my attendance at Timbers’ games downtown, my excursions to Mt. Hood. I angrily remember the broken promise that “Portland is our last move.”

Two hours after graduating from eighth grade, I boarded a plane to Grand Rapids, Michigan, never again to return to Portland as a student. Now, three years after that four-hour flight, I realize how every move, every change in my life, has been a growth opportunity which, although painful, has developed and defined me.

Moving means meeting new faces. Countless times I have been forced into uncomfortable situations with new people of different backgrounds and...

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